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Formsby Tung Oil

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by loose noose, Jun 21, 2014.

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  1. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Anybody ever use this as a final finish on a gun stock? I was told that it is far superior to Tru Oil. So far I've used it on the forend of my 1897 Winchester, and two coats on the stock, and it seems to be doing a fair job in filling in the pores of the wood. I'm wondering on how many coats it is going to take to get a final finish (I'm hand rubbing it in btw)? How about the durability of the finish?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.
    I finished a walnut grandfather clock I built in 1980 with it though.
    It's holding up well, but of course it doesn't take the beating a stock would.

    It seems to me it took forever applying a lot of hand rubbed coats as it's so thin.
    And it never did fill the grain much at all.
    But I didn't want it too.

    I'm Tru-Oil all the way on gun stocks.

    rc
     
  3. rondog

    rondog Member

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    That Formsby's product is "Tung Oil FINISH", it's not "100% Pure Tung Oil".

    The Tung Oil Finish is for furniture. The traditional oil for rifle stocks is 100% Pure Tung Oil. These are two completely different things. Not saying TOF won't work on a rifle stock, just saying it's not what you think it is, and won't produce the same results as PTO.
     
  4. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Formby's Tung Oil Finish is a thin varnish and, therefore, produces a hardshell varnish finish (akin to polyurethane) rather than the oil finish that its name suggests.

    Apparently, they developed and named this product as something that produces a finish on furniture that they think looks like a real Tung Oil finish, but is easier to apply and more durable (because of the varnish).

    I have used it on a couple of milsurp stocks (thinned with MS and no more than 2 coats so it doesn't look shiny/plastic) that I anticipated using in "weather". I also used it on a counter that I built for sorting critter food. On the counter it is not wearing as well as would polyurethane. On the milsurp stocks I haven't noticed any wear issues.

    I have refinished dozens of milsurp stocks and, therefore, have never used Tru-Oil. If I ever refinish a commercial rifle/shotgun stock, I plan on giving Tru-Oil a try.
     
  5. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Thanks folks, I generally use Tru Oil, but lately have had a hard time finding it around here. I got a bottle of Formby's Tung Oil Finish "High Gloss", at a local furniture store. It seems to take a long time to dry. After the second coat I plan on using some 0000 steel wool on it and try, try, again as the old saying goes. I wonder if I found some Tru Oil if that would rub in a lot better, or just make a mess out of it?
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It should work.

    I have used Tru-Oil on about every kind of stock finish there is for touch-up and scratch repair.

    Never seen any finish it won't dry properly on.

    rc
     
  7. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I did the birch stock on my old Glenfield Model 60 with Formby's Tung Oil back in the early 80's. It was still looking good when it was stolen in the early 90's.

    I hope to see it again one day, although I'm sure that's just a hope.
     
  8. kwg020

    kwg020 Member

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    I have used it on Garand stocks. I used the satin finish and the stocks came out looking great. The Garands spend most of their time in the gun safe but they are still looking good 10 years later. kwg
     
  9. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Well I finished the stock and the forearm, after about 10 coats, man that stuff spreads thin, but it looks really good and no runs. It seems to take forever to dry though and it is still sticky to the fingers, but not quite as bad as the Tru Oil. Seems to wash off fairly easy.

    Incidentally I got the metal all polished and took it down to have it blued, can't wait to get it back, should look good as new.

    DSCN1022.jpg

    DSCN1023.jpg

    DSCN1024.jpg

    The pics don't do them justice, once I get the metal back and reassemble the gun I'll take some more pics, note the reddish color of the wood just like the original Winchester finish, that is what I was trying to depict.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  10. aarondhgraham

    aarondhgraham Member

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    True story,,,

    True story,,,

    My cousin has a wife who is very blonde,,,
    My Poppa gave her a coffee table he made from driftwood.

    He never put a finish on anything,,,
    She asked what would be good,,,
    He said, "A little tung oil."

    Honest to God my friends,,,
    She looked at him and said,,,
    "You mean I have to lick it?"

    True story,,,
    Cross my heart. :eek:

    Aarond

    .
     
  11. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    I've used both and I also prefer Tru-Oil to Formby's Tung Oil. Tru-oil coats can be added in only 2 hours, Formby's takes 12 hours, IIRC. I've had excellent results on both AK stocks and guitar necks and bodies with Tru-oil.
    Also, using steel wool can leave small pieces of steel imbedded in your finish, instead, check out the white/grey 3M Scotch-brite pads. They're the same level of abrasiveness, but leave no particles.
     
  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    Several years ago I decided to refinish my FN Mauser 308 Norma mag stock using Formsby Tung oil, and it did take a long time to dry between coats, but it wasn't the final finish, and the final touch was 10 light coats of satin polyurethane. I was very pleased with the results.


    NCsmitty
     

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  13. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    NCsmitty, that stock is absolutely gorgeous, mine is just plain walnut, but it does have some nice grain, not anything like yours once again that stock is gorgeous.
     
  14. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Below are three much better photos of the stock.

    DSCN1025.jpg

    DSCN1026.jpg

    DSCN1027.jpg

    Again I'm no photographer but the color on the photos is much closer to the real thing.
     
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...The Tung Oil Finish is for furniture..." Cheap furniture. Pure Tung Oil gives a hard, waterproof finish, but it has to be applied properly. It requires several thin coats rubbed in, using a clean lint free cloth for each coat, with 24 hours drying time between coats. No slathering it on and letting it dry.
    Tung Oil Finish has other stuff in it so it's more like varnish. Tru Oil is tung oil with assorted other oils in it.
     
  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Looks good!
     
  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    The first 9 words on the back of a Formby's Tung Oil Finish can,

    "Formby's® Tung Oil Finish is a high-quality varnish ... "
     
  18. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    I've used it extensively, although not on firearms; if it takes a long time to dry, either it's not fresh or was applied too thickly:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Larry
     
  19. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Sorry there Sunray and GBEYPAT, I beg to differ with ya. The Formsby Tung Oil Finish I got did not come in a can, it came in a plastic bottle. The bottle stated it was not a varnish, however an oil that became extremely hard, and an excellent protectant of quality furniture. (not cheap furniture)

    Granted it does take a long time to dry, however I didn't slather it on, I hand rubbed it so you could see the grain, refer to the photos. One of the things I noted it didn't run, and it wasn't as hard to clean off my fingers as Tru Oil. Incidentally the next stock I do I will use Tru Oil, as it does go on a lot quicker and dries a lot more rapidly. However, honestly, I don't see the difference between the two finishes, and several people here stated it held up really good.

    BTW thank ya 1Kperday. I plan on getting the blued steel back tomorrow, and after I re-assemble it I'll post some photos of the finished product
     
  20. solvability

    solvability Member

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    I have used Tung oil many times and made a drying cabinet to help it setup a bit faster - I used a small fan and low wattage bulb - get the temp to 120 and low humidity. Cabinet keeps it free of dust too.
     
  21. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Then it must be a new Formby's product, although I cannot imagine why they would step all over an existing product name with a different product.

    BTW, the Formby's website still only shows the can:

    https://www.formbys.com/products/tung_oil/

    Any chance that you can provide some pics of the plastic bottle and/or label?
     
  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    From your Post#5:
    Tung Oil doesn't come in High/Low/Satin/Etc Gloss versions.

    Question: Is that plastic bottle branded in any way other than "Formby's", perhaps with the name of the furniture store at which you acquired it?
     
  23. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Does your bottle look like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  24. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    Very similar, in fact right on the back label it clearly states "it is not a varnish, but tung oil mixed with (doesn't specify) other quality ingredients". I'll get the bottle back from a friend tomorrow and post a picture. I might also be able to get the printing on the back of the bottle. I noted you did find a bottle of the stuff and not a can.

    However the fine print under the label says nothing about it being a varnish like the bottle you depicted.
     
  25. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    It's a polymerizing oil, the same as Tru Oil. The smaller quantities come in plastic bottles and the larger quantities come in metal cans.
     
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